MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: How does the pH of water affect our bodies, bones and muscles?

Date: Thu Mar 23 08:18:54 2006
Posted By: Gabriel Harris, Post-doc/Fellow, Diet and Human Performance Lab, USDA
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 1142932937.An


In answer to your questions:

What are some ways in which our muscles calcify? Stiffen, etc. 
(ESPECIALLY after workouts) with the build up of lactic acid?

No one really knows why muscles stiffen after workouts.  According to 
some researchers (see reference below) there are at least 6 possible 
1)lactic acid
2)muscle spasm
3)connective tissue damage
4)muscle damage
6)spilling of enzymes from damaged cells

Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L. Delayed onset muscle soreness : treatment 
strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):145-64. 

What relationship does the type of water we drink play a roll in this and 
especially what role does the pH of the water we drink have to do with 
the processes of how our body handles water?

To my knowledge, the type and pH (within reason) of the water is not of 
great importance with regard to how it is handled by the body.

As you mentioned in your question, our blood pH is about 7.4.  The body 
is very efficient at maintaining this pH because it is essential for 
survival.  For this reason, the effects of very high (raw egg whites, pH 
9.0) or very low (lemon juice, pH 2.0) pH liquids are probably going to 
be restricted to the digestive tract.

In combination to all of this, what rolls does carbonic acid play related 
to our body and the ph of the water in it?

Carbonic acid is part of the bicarbonate/carbonic acid buffer system that 
helps maintain our internal pH at ~7.4.

What pH should our urine be?

Urinary pH can vary between about 6 and 7.

I just found out recently that distilled water isn't good to drink on a 
constant basis because of it being really soft and it absorbs minerals in 
your system and in turn flushes them out.

Our body is continually taking in and flushing out minerals.  The only 
problem with distilled water is that it has no minerals, so it cannot 
replace those that have been flushed out.  As long as you are eating a 
good diet and not sweating excessively and or exercising, distilled water 
is probably fine.  However, it would be much better to find a good, clean 
source of water that does contain minerals including calcium and 

I hope that this helps. 

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